Leicester Mercury

Anger as protected tree may get chop for a parking space


- By AMY ORTON Local Democracy Reporter amy.orton@reachplc.com @amy__orton

AN applicatio­n has been lodged to remove a 50-year-old protected tree to make way for a parking space on a site where a new care home is being built.

Developers working on the site in Aylestone have asked the city council for permission to fell the establishe­d tree so it can create the extra parking space.

They have promised to plant a sapling in its place to replace the tree that was lost.

But a neighbour of the site, who has already accused the firm of not following rules put in place to protect the 50 trees on the site, is furious the well establishe­d tree could be lost.

Jon Saddington told the Mercury: “They are essentiall­y trying to fit too big a building on too small a site and the council is doing little to stop it.

“I have repeatedly informed the planning department that the developers are not following the conditions placed on the site and nothing has been done.

“There are trees that look to me like they are dying, it’s too late for them. They are developing areas and have erected fences and scaffoldin­g within root protection areas.

“This is the fourth revision regarding this applicatio­n and made after the public consultati­on has ended. This would seem to me to be not very democratic.

“The residents must be allowed to submit their comments and objections.

“The council is failing in its legal and democratic duty.”

The care home is being built on the Monsell Gardens site that was formerly home to 17 luxury apartments that no one ever lived in.

It is not the first time that the new developmen­t has hit the headlines.

Earlier this year, Mr Saddington parked his car across the site’s entrance, again in a row over the protected trees. Police threatened to tow his car away if he didn’t end the protest.

“This has gone on for long enough,” he said.

“Those trees are protected for a reason, call me a Nimby (not in my back yard) but anyone living near this site would feel the same.

“Even more frustratin­g is the fact that no one seems to care about the processes that are in place to protect these trees.

“The developers are doing as they want and the council’s doing nothing to stop them.”

A Leicester City Council spokespers­on said that officers have visited the site several times “to check conditions are being followed and are satisfied that they are”.

The spokesman said: “Although the date publicised for comments to be made has passed, representa­tions can still be made and considered up until a decision is made.

“These should be made as early as possible before the day of the committee to allow for them to be picked up and properly considered.

“Amendments are frequently made through the applicatio­n process and this is an accepted and lawful part of the process. There is no legal requiremen­t to re-publicise such amendments and this is usually done only when there is a significan­t possibilit­y that those who had made representa­tions may take a different view.”

The Mercury has contacted Wildgoose Constructi­on for a comment but is yet to receive any response.

 ?? MATT SHORT PHOTOGRAPH­Y ?? SITE: Monsell Gardens in Aylestone before it was demolished to make way for a care home
MATT SHORT PHOTOGRAPH­Y SITE: Monsell Gardens in Aylestone before it was demolished to make way for a care home

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